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Rewriting the Core Beliefs of the Sex Addict – pt. 1

April 11, 2010

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual AddictionDr. Patrick Carnes has a very popular book called Out of the Shadows:  Understanding Sexual Addiction.  I usually recommend it for those who are trying to understand sexual addiction.  The book is secular, but can open eyes to understanding sexual addiction. 

A thread throughout the book is on the Four Core Beliefs of the Sexual Addict.  It’s a very insightful. 

In this series over the next four days, I have taken each of the core beliefs, explained them from Carnes’ material, and then suggest some ways they can be rewritten by God’s Truth.


CORE BELIEF #1:  “I am basically a bad, unworthy person.” 

This core belief has to do with a person’s self-image. 

The sex addict doesn’t feel like he’s any good.  He doesn’t feel valuable.  He feels shame for what he’s done.  At his core, he believes that what he has done equals who he is.  

What I have done = Who I am

There is a lot of self-condemnation with this core belief.  Others may be giving him the same message and condemning him as well.  The condemnation may be from several woundings of his past.  Maybe his parents, teachers or friends told him this.  Maybe people tell him this now.  Maybe it comes from layers and layers of personal failings and his believing his own message.  

The sex addict believes these negative messages.  He believes the lie that he is a worthless person.

Identifying and examining one’s core beliefs are very important steps.  But as we soon see, many core beliefs are based on lies.  The sexual addict must rewrite their core beliefs.  The ultimate truth is found in God’s Word.  

God’s Word says in many places that we have value and purpose.  We are part of God’s creation.  

Romans 5:8 is a great Bible verse to help us understand how God sees things:  “But God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 

We are stained with sin.  Sin has destructive, eternal consequences for us.   But God never closes the door on us.  He continues to love us even though we sin.  

God has provided a means through Jesus Christ for our sin to be dealt with and all condemnation to cease.

 Romans 8:1 “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” 

The truth of this is not “I’m basically a good, worthy person.”  None of us are good on our own.  None of us deserve life and its benefits.  Life itself is a gift of God. 

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”

 I like the thought of being God’s workmanship.  

A better core belief is that “I’m valuable to God and others.  I have worth.  I have purpose.  I am loved by God.  I am God’s good work in progress.”

104 diagonal

Click on the 104 button to download Jeff’s podcast on Core Belief #1

More Top Tips For Sexual Purity shows can be found on I-Tunes or at



Part1:  I am basically a bad, unworthy person.

Part 2:  No one would love me as I am.

Part 3:  My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on other people.

Part 4:  Sex is my greatest need. 


One Comment


  1. The Addiction Noose as a way of Looking at the Addictive Cycle

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